The body craves stability. It will find a way of creating stability, even if that means using a non-functional movement pattern, or even a dysfunctional pattern. It’s usually dysfunctional. Take a slight correction in the way you walk, to avoid putting pressure on your left leg – you just “deal with it”, consciously or unconsciously.
Humans can be “master compensators”. You can work around the problem, and “cheat” and power through all sorts of movements – in other words – pulling from all the wrong places. Your movements may appear easy and effortless, despite underlying dysfunctional patterns. But just because you look good on the outside does not mean that you are functionally efficiently on the inside. The problem is you can only rely on these compensating movements for so long before the movement engine breaks down, and your durability factor takes a nosedive.
In reality, people don’t like to slow down, they don’t like to change things. They like to work hard and play hard. Their mind is bigger than their body’s ability to keep up. The motto “go hard or go home” is typically what they say to themselves. That paradigm is a breeding ground for joint dysfunction and body problems.
Sometimes problems are obvious, like with a fresh whiplash injury, after a motor vehicle accident, or with a nerve compression or pinched nerve problem. However once these problems begin to resolve, and the initial pain is gone, the improper movement patterns and compensations can still exist. These problems are less obvious. You might still be cheating.
As a chiropractor on Northeast Broadway, I try to help my patients as much as possible. Blue Heron chiropractic and healing arts center, and A Back in Balance Chiropractic and Massage, have a treatment plans that are set up to defeat compensation patterns. Chiropractic is all about that.
I think that a very easy example to check on dysfunction is just to check the breathing patterns of people. Asymmetric breathing, breathing only with the chest or only with the abdomen, holding breath when moving through simple patterns – holding the breath at all – is an immediate red flag. Check – go through a couple of exercises and see if you hold your breath.
And then, come and talk to me about it at your next appointment.
and yes, Se Habla Espanol.